UNLICENSED factories in Selangor will have to fulfil stringent requirements if they hope to legalise their operations.
Operators must adhere to these regulations as part of the legalisation process, which involves local councils, the land office as well the Fire and Rescue Department, among other agencies.
Klang Municipal Council (MPK) president Dr Ahmad Fadzli Ahmad Tajuddin said the council was strict on the approval.
He said there was a bulk of applications going through the strict vetting process and it would take some months for it to be completed.
He urged operators to initiate action to have their building plans, land status and nature of business verified for them to have their operations legalised.
“Our regulations are in place and the factories need to be in compliance to get the approval.
“MPK is the facilitator and our officers will provide the guidelines to ensure business continues.
“The factory operators will be advised accordingly if there is a need to relocate,” he added.
According to a council officer, some guidelines are being coordinated with the Selangor State Economic Planning Unit to further iron out and coordinate enforcement guidelines which will be brought to the Selangor Economic Action Council and Selangor State Executive Council, before it is used to legalise certain factories.
Asked about the guidelines, Ahmad Fadzli said: “There may be additional rules for certain businesses but we will wait for the state’s directive and act as a facilitator for economic improvement.
“Factories that are on agricultural land must submit all documents to the district land office for land conversion from agricultural to industrial in accordance with the National Land Code 1965.
“Once that is approved, we at the council can facilitate the applications for the technical side.”
He assured that MPK staff were working hard to get the approvals completed as it would help develop the businesses, earn revenue for the council and that it would help the economy improve.
He said the council wanted all owners of unlicensed factories, estimated at 680 in eight constituencies, to initiate applications to have their businesses verified n order for them to obtain a licence to continue to operate.
“Unlicensed factories are being given an opportunity to have their operations licensed if they fulfil the technical conditions such as land status, zoning and planning permission.
“Our council’s Planning, Building, Licensing and Legal departments will also scrutinise the Environment Department’s report before approval can be given,” he said.
He added that a census had been carried out earlier that identified 1,555 factories situated on 1,127 land lots.
It is learnt that the top three areas for unlicensed factories in Klang are Port Klang with 540 units built on 431 land lots, Meru with 326 factories on 300 land lots and Sementa has 288 factories on 259 land lots.
In Klang there are some 20 factories located along rivers.
Other areas with unlicensed factories are Selat Klang, Bandar Baru Klang, Pandamaran, Sentosa and Sungai Kandis.
According to an MPK officer, some 279 factories had been given licence as they had fulfilled the requirements while 97 were in the final stages of approval. Another 19 were rejected.
In Ampang Jaya, some 235 factories had been identified to be operating on residential lots in Kampung Baru Ampang.
Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) has managed to legalise 167 factories so far, with 68 more to go. Two are currently in the process of being legalised.
MPAJ public relations officer Norhayati Ahmad said part of Kampung Baru Ampang, where the factories were located, was rezoned as industrial in 2016.
“These were previously residential lots that had been converted into businesses such as furniture, wood and foodstuff production some 15 years ago.
“As the majority of them were involved in business, it was decided that the area should be rezoned.
“In this case, these factories can be legalised as they are businesses that are operating in an industrial area,” she explained.
She said that because of the rezoning, the operators were required to change the status of their land from residential to industrial.
Norhayati said this was one of the main challenges as the operators felt that the land premium prices were too steep.
“The state introduced the legalisation programme and several of the operators had taken up the initiative.
“We will still give leeway for these businesses to legalise their operations but there will be no more incentives offered.”
She added that enforcement, including compounds, would be taken against those that remained unlicensed by end of this year.